INLAND EMPIRE – Every month Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez recognizes five people in the 67th Assembly District who have shown significant achievement or service to the community for her “Power to the People” awards. For the month of January, the following people were chosen.
Menifee Middle School
Debbie is a tireless volunteer who is actively involved in classrooms and the local PTSA. She helps out with the choir program and volunteers endless hours to help the students during concerts, activities, and fundraisers. She never expects anything in return and has a great attitude about it as well. Debbie also serves on the PTSA board and helps with their activities and fundraisers.
Wendy has been volunteering in the public school since 1994 teaching kids in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade how to draw basic shapes in a fun and entertaining way. She has also written and illustrated over 30 books with a golden rule moral. She has volunteered at many schools including Avaxat, E. Hale Curran, and Lisa J. Mails, in Murrieta and Ridgemoor Elementary in Menifee. She also offered drawing lessons for home-schooled children at Calvary Chapel, Murrieta. She has taught thousands of children in the Valley.
Juli Kukulka, Hemet
Juli Kukulka became the program coordinator for La Vista Residential Treatment center for women in 2010. Juli also began overseeing a second facility in 2011. “I know when I lay down to go to sleep at night that the team I work with is making a difference every single day that we suit up and show up for work,” Kukulka said. “We have a profession that is changing lives for the better. It is truly rewarding to see the light come back into a person’s eyes that had almost been put out permanently by the use of drugs and alcohol.”
Richard De La Cruz
Richard is co-founder of Operation Silver Star (OSS), which is devoted to helping combat veterans in need. Richard and OSS recently assisted a Navy veteran who suffers from PTSD in building a fence around his property in order to keep his service dog safe.
Ivana Milana, Murrieta
Nine-year old Ivanna Milana, concerned about victims of recent earthquakes and Typhoon Haiyan, made bracelets in order to raise money to send to the Philippines. Her fundraising efforts collected $1,630, some of which was donated to Habitat for Humanity, a medical supply organization, and some to a damaged school.
Those who would like to nominate a Power to the People award recipient can do so by going to Assemblywoman Melendez’s website at www.asm.ca.gov/melendez and sending an email using the
“Contact Us” tab.